Film Review: Locals analyze crime-filled town

Vanessa Diaz

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The timely film “Tijuanedos Anonimos” (2009) is a subtitled documentary film about what people of Tijuana, Mexico, were going through in 2009, having the record-breaking drug violence of 2008 still fresh on their minds as violence continued.

Tijuanedos Anonimos serves as a support group similar to the Alcoholics Anonymous, implementing a 12-step plan towards feeling better about their community and to “untijuanise” (“?become free of Tijuana’s problems?” or “disconnect from the negativity of Tijuana”) themselves.

Primarily anonymous members were interviewed for the project, but other Tijuana citizens including a photojournalist, a journalist, a filmmaker and a local wrestler were also featured. There are no names given and no faces shown in the film.

“There is something we call Tijuanado. It’s a condition where people and things become deteriorated . We found that not only are things deteriorating, you can see the city decay (and) erode, but also the people,” ?said a character in the movie?.

This film kept my interest, and on top of the manner they provided content and imagery, the people interviewed had really great quotes and offered differing perspectives.

“The city is improvised. My life is improvised. I see it in myself, my life is hanging on by a thread.” ?said a character in the movie?.

Many used the word “unmanageable” to describe the city and the state it was and still remains in due to the drug trafficking, disorganization of city planning and the effect of the border on the culture and mood.

“San Diego and Tijuana are sort of one place with this big kind of problem going through the middle of it,” ?said a character in the movie?.

As Journalist Daniel Salinas put it, “our essence, our culture, and our way of life is conditioned by the line.”

That point was really driven home when they zoomed in on Downtown San Diego and then zoomed out into Tijuana showing the dramatic change in architecture and environment.

A few other impactful images were the border fence leading into the ocean and the crosses along the fence.

Having been to that fence, it resonated with me. Especially their choice in music was the final element that really brought home the message and feel of what these people are enduring in Tijuana.

What is happening in Tijuana is something of grave concern and the film leaves you with some interesting opinions and facts to think about as well as a summary of what most of the people being interviewed are up to and what happened to Tijuanedos Anonimos.

It is disappointing to hear that “the United States . is the greatest drug consumer . Drug trafficking, depending on who you talk to, accounts for between nine and 15 percent of the gross domestic product. That is about 180 billion.”

However as the Tijuanersoa Anonios would say, “If you want to change the world, change yourself.”

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